Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ikea Smorgasbord

On April 15th, we joined Cousin Holly and her man, Matt, at the Ikea Smorgasbord. Holly had gone to it at Christmas and was really excited there was an Easter one too. After waiting in line for the earlier seating to exit, we found some seats and headed in for the food. Holly and Matt got their food so fast and I was amazed because the line was so long. Then Holly clued us in to the fact there were two food lines, but no one had figured that out yet, except for smart Holly. So naturally, we jumped lines, got our food fast and dug in. They had Ikea famous meatballs and sauce, ham, deviled eggs plain and with some egg stuff on top, salmon, two kinds of halibut, scalloped potatoes and baby red potatoes. Then there was this huge fruit bar, rolls, fancy carbonated drinks, salads and a long table filled with desserts. There was great conversation and we all left happily stuffed. It was a fun experience.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sara's Birthday!

It was my cute niece, Sara's, birthday on April 12th! She is attending BYU and it was her first birthday not at home. Here she is with her cute friends. Brian and I headed down that night to celebrate with her. We all ate dinner together in the Cannon center. That place is crazy! After dinner, we headed over to her dorm lounge for cake and ice cream.

I brought candles, but it was too windy outside to light them. And, inside the dorm no candles are allowed. So the cake looks slightly not birthdayish, but I promise, it was a true birthday cake. (It is my Best Freakin' Chocolate Cake recipe.) Cousins Heather, Jason and Emma joined us as well. Then we all got more than our fill of chocolate cake and ice cream, visited, laughed and hopefully helped Sara have a great birthday.

Happy Birthday, Sara!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quinn's 2nd Birthday

Quinn turned two! The par-tay was awesome...we had Quinn's favorite food - spaghetti. Crystal decorated her house sooooo cute and she made the yummiest rainbow cupcakes. Here Quinn is getting ready to blow out her candle.

She dove right in, like any smart girl would do. Quinn knows how to party.

This is one happy girl about her open her presents. Seriously, I could not have caught a cuter look on camera. She wanted to play with everything right when she got the paper off. She had to be enticed with another gift to keep opening them. When she understood there were more presents she squealed with delight! Adorable!

Brian and I got her two My Little Ponies. Every girl needs some. She set right to work brushing the pony's hair. Quinn was completely spoiled for her birthday. Just like every two year old should be.

Happy Birthday, Quinn!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

General Conference Weekend

Every conference weekend we head out to Tooele to "watch" conference with our cousins! There is watching and listening that happens, but lots of talking, eating, sleeping, and all out fun too. Here is Aunt Charlotte, Jason, Holly and Matt.

I couldn't help it Holly! I had to take this picture. Too cute...Holly and her man, Matt, listening sleeping.

Emma and Ellie playing games.

My man sleeping away. I think listening to Heather and I talking put him right into a coma. Ha-ha! Works every time!

Josh, Ashley and Ann lounging in bed while listening to conference.

It was a great weekend! It's always wonderful to get together with cousins. I need to get better at taking pictures because this post makes us look like we just laid around all weekend. But we didn't. We made food, played, shopped, and bonded like all good cousins do. Six months until next time...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I just love these two little gaffers!

Snuggling on the couch. They also happen to be on my legs.

 Mokie in some baskets. She loves small places to curl up in.

Snuggled up on all the clean and folded laundry.

Phanta has realized Brian isn't so bad. She never liked him (or anyone but me) until just recently.

Phanta is one snuggly kitty. If she is snuggling with you and you move, she will wiggle her body back up against you. Here she is wiggled up against Brian.

You may (or may not) think I'm crazy, but I love these two kitties of mine!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ehlerts Were Here!

Isn't Xander so cute? Wendy said he practiced for hours how to get his own boots on, get into his skis, get back out - over and over again. He was so excited to go skiing! I really planned on taking more pictures but alas, I did not. The first night we went to visit, Xander had to show me how he could do it all by himself.

Here is the Ehlert crew, with their skiing buddies. They came up to Utah for skiing this year since Sara is going to school here. We LOVED seeing them!! They stayed in a fun cabin up by the ski hill and we visited them several times. We did not join them in skiing even though they invited us. Work is just in the way sometimes. We ate yummy meals with them, played games, laughed and just enjoyed being together. I hope they come again next year!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kindergarten Classroom

Lots of people have been asking to see my Kindergarten classroom. I finally took some pictures! So here  goes the tour.

This is my desk. Most days I really wish I had a bigger work area. And a better chair. But check out all the works of art my students have given me! Since taking this picture, there is about three times as much.
 

To the left of my desk is this table. I meet here with small groups of kiddos to do reading, work on skills they are struggling with, etc. Behind the table is the tower with all the students tote trays.

In this area, we do art, listen to stories on CD while following along in the book, and do all kinds of writing activities. There is also lots of storage here. Problem is, years of previous teachers left lots of stuff. I got most of it cleaned out, but its still a work in progress. The colorful papers on the doors, is the word wall. All the students name's and our sight words are on the wall. To the left of this room, is the coat room and bathrooms.

Here is the view from the back door of my classroom to the front. My desk is to the right, by all the garbage cans.

 This is the computer area. It's right in front of my desk. 

To the left of the computer area, is this area - the reading area. The green board on the wall is a flannel board. My students LOVE flannel board stories. I switch out the books each week and there are also puzzles and a memory game.
  
To the left of the reading area are two tables I got from Ikea. Recognize them, anyone? The first table is the phonics area, the second table is the science area. All the orange papers on the wall are each student's sticker paper. They earn stickers for following rules, handing in their homework, etc. When the paper is full, they get to pick a prize from the Treasure Chest. Stickers work wonders in Kindergarten. LOVE it!
  
Here is the other side of the tote trays. The tv on top is so we can watch our school's news every day. The blue baskets are the math area in the classroom.

This is our carpet area. We go over the calendar every day, a poem, sight words, letter sounds and so much more! I give all my instructions from here. All the other Kindergarten classes join us for singing in our classroom too.
  

Here are the tables the kiddos work at. The boxes in the middle store pencils, crayons, scissors, glue. You know, all the fun stuff. In the back you can see the door we use most often. There is a small playground right outside but it isn't big enough for 26 Kindergartener's.
  
Here is a view from the front of the classroom, to the back.
  
There ends the tour. It's a fun place. Lots of learning takes place here. When I originally took these pictures, I wasn't sure where I would be working next school year. See, they are building a new elementary school just down the street. They said they were going to take 1/2 of my current school's student population so about 1/2 of the teachers would be displaced. The way it works in my district is, once you are displaced, you are put on a list and placed where there is a job opening. Not necessarily at the new school. Though you fill out your grade and school preferences, you are placed wherever the powers that be decide. So I have been pretty nervous. Then one random Thursday, my principal walks in my classroom and asks me if I can attend a training this summer. I gave him a strange "I thought I wasn't working here next year" look. To which he said, "Oh, the district just approved three full time Kindergarten teachers next year. You are third on the list so you have a job here next year. Will you go to the training?" In my shocked stupor I answered, "ahhh, sure." Later, after what he said settled in, I celebrated. Yeah for not packing, moving, getting to know a new principal!! We are switching from year round to traditional school next year, and losing one month's pay - but, hey! I have a job!